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What’s Really Going On With Natalie?

Editor’s Note: The following contains spoilers for Season 2 of Yellowjackets Natalie (Juliette Lewis) has always been one of the more logical members of the cast of Yellowjackets with a healthy dose of skepticism for all the weird and creepy things they’ve experienced. But Season 2 shows us a different side of Natalie. In the present, after Lottie (Simone Kessell) rescued her from a suicide attempt she’s been more or less forced to stay with Lottie’s intentional healing community-cult situation in the aftermath. Though she was characteristically dismissive of the place and its practices at first, after growing close to another resident, Lisa (Nicole Maines), she slowly starts to open up and actually begins to deal with some of her trauma. And this healing is great, but this place is strange. Even Lottie starts to feel something is off. Natalie is falling further and further into this new mindset, but is that for the best? Is Natalie really…okay?


Natalie Certainly Isn’t the Same in Season 2

Image via Showtime 

Natalie’s always been the character wearing her troubled past on her sleeve. She externalized her trauma a lot more than the others, falling into a cycle of substance abuse and rehab visits that filled her last few decades. It was clear when she attempted suicide that she wasn’t doing well and something needed to change. At first, she was resistant to life on Lottie’s compound, but after Lisa forgave Natalie for attacking her during her first night there, Natalie started to question what it was all about. And through her friendship with Lisa, Natalie starts to accept help and healing.

By the time the other Yellowjackets show up in Episode 7, she’s fully down with the therapy and genuinely seems to want her friends to have the same positive mental change she’s had. Through Lottie, she’s finally gotten some half-truth-laden closure via about Travis (Andres Soto) with the help of some visions, understands why she’s so hurt, and is safe (for now) in a place she feels comfortable to start healing. But as she said, whatever was out there with them, they brought it back.

The other girls are understandably confused by the drastic change Natalie has gone through. Taissa (Tawny Cypress), Van (Lauren Ambrose), and Shauna (Melanie Lynskey) are all dismissive of the therapeutic potential of Lottie’s community and even Misty (Christina Ricci) only plays along because she wants to convince Natalie to leave. Going from a cynical skeptic to a true believer in such a short time would be odd for anyone, but especially Natalie. Is this transformation going to last? Or will her faith in this, like so many other things, crumble to dust? Healing from trauma is fantastic and necessary, but this is such a dramatic change for Natalie. And knowing that the peace she found came in part because Lottie didn’t tell her the full truth about Travis’s death makes this whole process of “healing” a barely scabbed-over wound that could easily be peeled open again, even deeper this time.

Everyone on this show would likely benefit from therapy. It’s highly recommended that these women find emotional outlets that allow them to process all their repressed trauma from the wilderness. But a pseudo-cult wearing the symbol of the seemingly supernatural force that drove you and your friends to cannibalism doesn’t seem like the best venue for recovery from said trauma. Especially when even the person who runs said pseudo-cult is even starting to doubt its efficacy.

So Lottie’s (Not) Losing It?

Image via Showtime 

Lottie genuinely, deeply wants to help other people overcome their problems, and she specifically really wants to help Natalie find some sort of stability. But even as Natalie feels herself getting drawn into the community and starting to accept healing, Lottie is starting to doubt her own endeavor. She’s once again plagued with bloody visions, flashes of the antler queen, and, most startlingly, has finally realized that her therapy appointments of late had been nothing more than hallucinations. Lottie is beginning to sense a connection between her “intentional community” and the darkness of the wilderness. And if there’s at least one thing we know about Lottie’s visions, it’s that they’re usually right. So if Lottie’s healing cult is actually linked to the very thing they’re all trying to escape, it’s unlikely this change Natalie’s undergone because of it is going to last.

At first, aside from the cult-like appearance and the use of the symbol from the woods on pendants, Lottie’s group seemed like they might just be a harmless granola group. But the longer we’ve spent there and the more characters that have come to join them, the more we start to realize there’s something off about this place, and not just because they’re literally off the grid. Not only are the symbols from the woods all over pendants, but the symbol is carved into the ground of the main thoroughfare of the compound. It’s literally built into the place. And even without the visions of bloody bee hives and Lottie doing blood sacrifices, there’s plenty to fear just from the insular way the cult behaves. It’s hard to heal from all the cannibalism trauma when your messiah is still having the prophetic visions that led you all to cannibalism in the first place.

Natalie swung from one extreme of coping through substance abuse to coping through copious amounts of therapeutic treatments. It’s easy to just see this as a good thing, but scenes like her heart-to-heart with Lottie with the shadow of the antler queen juxtaposed with an appearance of young Natalie (Sophie Thatcher) in her embrace say otherwise. It implies this is some sort of return to the comfort of their dynamic in the wilderness, a trust in Lottie as a higher power more than just a simple form of healing. But if the person providing her healing no longer has faith in the process, it’s hard to believe the charade will hold up much longer. Natalie deserves to heal, as they all do, but this doesn’t seem like a long-term solution and this sense of peace being broken could lead to even more pain for Natalie. Natalie might seem okay, but she is not, and she cannot be. Not as long as that darkness continues to follow the Yellowjackets.



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